Do You Have A Comment, Sir?!

21 Dec

I’ve been posting a lot about social media from a business standpoint lately. Let’s shake it up slightly by talking about a way to build your personal professional reputation online. Don’t worry–this is not another how-to plug for LinkedIn. I’m thinking of comments.

You can do a great deal of engaging without having your own blog or Facebook page by posting insightful comments. I have found this to be the best way to engage other experts and professionals in a field. Think about it. You have to know a lot about something to actually write something interesting about it. An ignorant person or a bad writer can make fireworks boring on paper. If  you find an informative, entertaining blog in a subject your profession touches on, you have probably found an influencer. Second, it’s almost as good as brownies when it comes to worming your way into someone’s heart. Anyone who creates reacts like a puppy to beef jerky when it comes to comments. Third, it develops a relationship and keeps your name in front of people–and in a format that has a link to your business too!

What should you comment on? Depends on what part of your online reputation you’re trying to build. Are you trying to connect with former or potential customers or with other professionals in your field? If you have the time I would recommend both. For example, my blog and social media consumption has two main categories: local and marketing.

I’ve talked about the local scene some before. It is very important that I be up on the local scene. It’s my customers’ customers! What are they talking about? What are they doing? What do they like and dislike? Bloggers aren’t average usually, but they’re quite often trend setters. In social media there is a lot crossover between staying up on the local scene and building relationships with potential customers.

Marketing blogs are just for my own education. I want my skills to stay sharp and up-to-date. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m just following social media blogs. I follow Julie Walraven even though Magic Bottle Marketing does nothing with employment services because Julie uses social media masterfully. And she’s a wonderful person. I follow Jessica Miller-Merrill and Rayanne Thorn because Xceptional HR is a leader in its field (HR) for social media. And because Jessica’s an Okie.

What should you say? I am assuming you are all kind, decent human beings who would never post a spammy comment asking someone to click on anything. You should…

  • Comment more than one sentence. ‘Sweet’ and ‘Cool’ are not real engagement.
  • Ask for clarification or application. Better yet, provide an application or example yourself!
  • Say what you liked about the post.
  • Ask a further question.
  • Relate an experience that confirms or contradicts the article in a succinct manner—they only care how your cat relates to the post, not actually about your cat.

Guy Kawasaki wrote a post specifically about comments on Google+, but I think a lot of it can be applied to any platform.

If you have personal interests that don’t match your business consider using two accounts for comments. I use my personal accounts to comment on friends’  stuff and political blogs. I’m not doing anything I’m ashamed of–it’s just a matter of brand building. I have a personal brand in politics and I don’t want to dilute it or Magic Bottle Marketing’s brand by blending them.

Now, a confession.  I have not fully applied all of this post to myself. You can all hold me accountable now!

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2 Responses to “Do You Have A Comment, Sir?!”

  1. Julie Walraven December 22, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Hi Anna, What a great new venture that I missed somehow. Thank you for citing me in the post. You have always impressed me for your creativity, intelligence, and honesty. You give some great pointers on commenting. When I was new to blogging, I learned just the way you have, by visiting excellent bloggers and learning from them. I started commenting without realizing the impact or Google footprint I was leaving. I often advise job seekers and entrepreneurs to start by commenting in their subject area which will leave a trail. If those comments are insightful, two things will happen. They will build relationships with the blog writers and also create a trail that hiring managers or potential customers will find when their name is Googled.

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